Digital nomads flee congested Manila for deserted tourist hotspots

They are injecting much-needed money into communities dependent on foreign holidaymakers

After months cooped up in coronavirus-hit Manila, Tanya Mariano fled the Philippine capital to work from the beach, joining a growing number of digital nomads helping a devastated tourism industry stay afloat.

A ban on foreign holidaymakers entering the archipelago nation and domestic travel curbs since the pandemic began last year have forced many operators to close and wiped out millions of jobs.

Many digital workers in congested Manila, fearing Covid-19 and fed up with lockdowns and restrictions, are escaping to largely deserted nature hotspots to do their jobs – injecting much-needed money into communities dependent on outside visitors.

Sitting with her laptop on the balcony of the ocean-view apartment she rents in San Juan, a surf town several hours north of her home, Ms Mariano says the move has been a “big quality of life improvement”.

“Being close to the ocean, being close to nature is very calming,” Ms Mariano, 37, a freelance writer and communications specialist, said.

“When I’m in a meeting, usually Zoom or Google Meet, I try not to use the beach as my background – I just show people the wall so they don’t hate me.”

There are no official figures on the number of people working remotely from the country’s picture-postcard beaches and dive spots, but it is certainly a fraction of the millions of tourists that usually flock to its shores.

The impact of Covid-19 travel restrictions on the sector has been dramatic: $37 billion slashed from the economy and the loss of more than two million jobs, according to World Travel and Tourism Council data.

Bravo Beach Resort on the southern island of Siargao – a renowned surfing destination – has felt the pain acutely.

Normally packed out with local and international tourists, it now averages around five to 10 guests at any one time – about 10 percent of its capacity – said general manager Dennis Serrano.

Quote
You are not completely bleeding out, you're still bleeding out for sure, but you're at least generating something to offset enough of it

With the resort haemorrhaging as much as 200,000 pesos ($4,180) a month, he hopes the situation will be “back to normal” by next year.

Even the white-sand resort island of Boracay has been turned into a “ghost town”, according to Eugene Flores, manager of the La Banca House boutique hotel, where most of the rooms are filled with long-term digital nomads from Manila.

Official figures show arrivals to the island fell to less than 335,000 last year, compared with more than two million in 2019.

“When you go out, you can see shops, you can see restaurants, you can see hotels that are really closed. Only a few are open,” Mr Flores said.

The glacial pace of the country’s Covid-19 vaccine programme is expected to delay the full reopening of the country’s beleaguered tourism industry.

For now, digital nomads are a “target market”, the Department of Tourism said, encouraging resorts and hotels to cater to the “new breed” of travellers by offering fast internet and wellness activities.

The influx of mobile workers, whose Manila salaries stretch further in the provinces, is keeping businesses like Papa Bear restaurant in San Juan afloat.

“You are not completely bleeding out, you’re still bleeding out for sure, but you’re at least generating something to offset enough of it,” owner Denny Antonino said.

Digital nomads now make up 30 to 40 per cent of his customers and he hopes the trend continues after the pandemic to even out the seasonal fluctuations.

“They’re able to do their work but in between meetings they can surf, they can go hiking, they can go to the falls – there are more things to do,” Mr Antonino said.

Nine months after Carlo Almendral left his “prison” apartment in Manila’s financial district for San Juan, the chief executive of an artificial intelligence start-up said he has no plans to leave.

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I didn't realise how much time I had spent worrying about the pandemic until I got here [San Juan]

The 43-year-old often starts his day with a dawn bike ride through the countryside or a surf when the waves are up.

It ends with a business meeting on the beach at sunset, accompanied by his rescue French bulldog Alfred.

“I didn’t realise how much time I had spent worrying about the pandemic until I got here,” Mr Almendral said from the beachfront resort, where his office is a breezy rooftop studio with a sea view.

“Being here has made me more productive and more creative.”

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full

Indoor cricket in a nutshell

Indoor Cricket World Cup - Sep 16-20, Insportz, Dubai

16 Indoor cricket matches are 16 overs per side

8 There are eight players per team

There have been nine Indoor Cricket World Cups for men. Australia have won every one.

5 Five runs are deducted from the score when a wickets falls

Batsmen bat in pairs, facing four overs per partnership

Scoring In indoor cricket, runs are scored by way of both physical and bonus runs. Physical runs are scored by both batsmen completing a run from one crease to the other. Bonus runs are scored when the ball hits a net in different zones, but only when at least one physical run is score.

Zones

A Front net, behind the striker and wicketkeeper: 0 runs

B Side nets, between the striker and halfway down the pitch: 1 run

Side nets between halfway and the bowlers end: 2 runs

Back net: 4 runs on the bounce, 6 runs on the full